London-based pizzeria group Zia Lucia has set ambitious targets to increase its presence to 100 locations by 2028.

Growth will be facilitated by a new international franchise model aimed at extending the brand’s reach across Europe and the Middle East.

The company, which has nine current establishments in London and one in Reading, Berkshire is collaborating with GNF Worldwide to navigate this significant expansion.

Zia Lucia co-founder Gianluca D’Angelo was quoted by The Caterer: “We have received lots of inbound interest to bring Zia Lucia to new markets.”

D’Angelo, alongside co-founder Claudio Vescovo, launched Zia Lucia in 2016.

 The brand is poised to inaugurate its tenth London site in Chelsea in July 2024. Expansion plans are not limited to international markets; the UK is also on the radar with potential growth across the country.

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In pursuit of its UK growth strategy, Zia Lucia engaged real estate advisor Savills in the summer of 2023. The aim is to open an additional five to ten UK locations by 2026, as reported in

Zia Lucia, which operates in the casual dining space, offers a variety of pizza toppings on four types of dough: traditional, gluten-free, wholemeal and charcoal.

D’Angelo stated: “Our differentiated product offering anchored around the four doughs coupled with the true Italian heritage of the group allow us to offer something distinctive in the casual dining segment.”

Stressing the importance of quality partnerships for the brand’s expansion, he went on: “We will partner only with high-quality and vision-aligned operators while continuing to grow our corporate stores in a controlled way. We see a path towards 100 stores in the next five years.”

In addition to Zia Lucia, D’Angelo and Vescovo also manage the hand-made fresh pasta concept Berto, situated adjacent to Zia Lucia’s Islington location.

Zia Lucia, which translates from the Italian as “Auntie Lucia”, began its journey with an independent pizzeria on London’s Holloway Road and has since grown to include four more sites in the city: Canary Wharf, West Hampstead, Wandsworth and Aldgate East.

Its menu offers a variety of pizza toppings on four types of dough. Credit: usaphoto/Shuterstock.